Is your significant other an alpha or beta?
Do you write alpha or beta heroes?
If you have a beta significant other, is there enough conflict in your stories between the h/h too sustain the story? Or do you find yourself in a quandary half way through the book realizing you don’t have enough or, gasp! no conflict?
This past weekend at my Black Diamond RWA meeting, (thanks again ladies for the virgin Cosmos!) we discussed among many things the lack of conflict in the stories of those writers with beta spouses.
As most of you know, I married an alpha. My boys are alphas, my brother is an alpha and my father is an alpha, albeit a quiet alpha. While my alphas are true in the sense of the word and with no beta tendencies that I can see, they are loving, protective, loyal and have no problem showing public displays of affection. We are a touchy feely family. Hubby and I hold hands in the grocery store and he has on occasion copped a feel in the frozen food isle. He thinks it’s really funny to come up behind me and grab my ass and say, “Hey lady!’ As if he’s a stranger. One of these days he’s going to get nut checked.
So my stories are riddled with tension and conflict between h/h. It comes natural to me. I write a lot of dialogue. We are a chatty family. There are lots of quips, jokes and tomfoolery in and around the house. Sunday dinners are a production in of themselves.
I just looked up the definition of alpha. The noun definition quite simply is: first. Interesting. Both hubby and I are the oldest children.
The adjective definition: the dominate one, the leader.
Beta: noun: nearly complete prototype
Adjective: second in position.
We have three dogs. A big Rotty (who is alpha now that her mate Bubba died. He was king alpha when he lived and Britt acquiesced to him), two shih tzus, and we have el gato brato. Britt doesn’t come in the house much, but in the house, the youngest shih tzu, Zoe, is the alpha personality. She barks at everyone and everything, she patrols the house. She loves to go after Kitty who in turn gets his swipes in. CoCo, won’t even come down the stairway in the morning if Kitty is lying in wait at the bottom. I have to get her. She will wait patiently while Zoe dives into the food, or will back off when Zoe takes a bone from her, or a toy, or horns in on playtime. All the while Kitty waits patiently for a chance to get Zoe. If he still had his claws he would be the undisputed king of the house. But because he can’t damage Zoe she is continually trying to stay top bitch. When my daughter brings her bratty puppy, Chopper, over, Zoe runs for the hills. Go figure.
This is all fascinating.
Now, are you an alpha female or a beta?
What type of heroine do you find yourself writing?
As an alpha female myself you can guess there is and will continue to be conflict in my house. Mostly with the younger alphas. The senior alpha, hubby, has mellowed considerably and so have I. I don’t have to continue to wrestle for dominance, it’s a given. I am queen in my castle. Hubby is king, we respect each other accordingly.
Naturally, my heroines are alphas. It makes for some great conflict and tension.
I have written a beta female, once. It was hard for me to get into her skin without making her come across weak. It’s not that I see betas as weak, because the ones I know are far from it, I just can’t get into skin I don’t understand so I experiment and screw it up. In real life, I love a grounded beta. They balance me. I just have difficulty writing them. When I finally nailed this character, she became my favorite. Go figure that. Am I trying to tell myself something?
So, I’d be interested in hearing your theories, and which lurks in your house and stories, alphas, betas?